Forestry Field School Fund Helps Reduce Financial Pressure

Forestry Students in Field School

Thanks to the support of alumni, foundations, corporate and other donors, this year five students were able to attend Field School with less financial stress and worry. But these five represent only a tiny percentage of students who attend Field School, many of whom are in financial need.

Field School is an important milestone in a student’s forestry education. After three years of classroom courses in basic sciences, ecology, silviculture, hydrology, and much more, Field School moves the learning environment to the forest.

However students must pay for their transportation, accommodation, meals and gear at Field School, an amount that can be an obstacle to participation. Thanks to the Forestry Field School Fund, this year that obstacle was cleared for five undergraduate students:

“When I looked at enrolling in the Field School course, the high expense of the course fees and outdoor equipment was very much a worry for me. These fees would cost more than a month’s living expenses for one person.” – Xin Yang , 3rd year

“Last semester I was even working full time while taking full-time courses! Being the recipient of such a generous donation not only helps alleviate some of my financial burden, but it also motivates me to keep working hard while continually seizing amazing opportunities.” – Bailey Williams, 4th year

“Field school gave me the opportunity to tie my textbook education with ‘real world’ applications. I was able to apply my education out in the field and gain hands-on experience.” – Blake Connell, 4th year

“This funding is not only helping me financially, but also gives me the encouragement to study hard and work hard. Through this hands-on field school experience, I have learned about the complexity of natural conservation issues and the limitations of my knowledge.” – Tian Yang Liu, 4th year

“I would add that getting to know and bonding with my peers and instructors throughout the course contributed to a sense of belonging at UBC that I hadn’t really experienced before.” – Corbin Manson, 4th year

Employers also notice the difference in students who have attended Field School. Mauro Calabrese, RPF and past-president of ABCPF, says, “Getting hands-on field camp experience helps forestry graduates contribute right away when they come to work in the forest industry, because they already have field skills that are assets to future employers.”

Paul Lawson, Director, UBC Research Forests, says that about 400 students attend Field School at either the Malcolm Knapp or Alex Fraser Research Forest each year. “For a lot of students, these are required courses,” he says. “Students are paying for the UBC credit, as for any other course, then they have to pay the field school fee for accommodation, meals and transportation. On top of that, many students don’t have the right kind of boots and rain gear, so that’s an additional expense.”

This past year the Faculty received many more compelling applications to the Field School Fund than it could support. Please help us build this fund so more students can benefit. A donation to the Forestry Field School Fund, in any amount, can help a student in financial need gain practical, hands-on learning without the stress and worry of affordability.

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